To Test in Public or Not? That Is the Question!
Last updated: March 2022
Your doctor told you that you need to test your blood sugar often. Most of the time it is recommended that you test before meals and at bedtime. Some test before and after meals and at bedtime. You may be set up to test more often than that. However many times you are supposed to test, just make sure you do it! Don’t ever let being busy and out of the house be a reason you're not testing.
Checking blood sugar when you need to
It is important to test as your doctor has told you to do. Yes, some don’t feel comfortable testing when they are out and about. They may feel judged about how others will react to them so many may just leave testing to when they are home. Depending on if you work or are out of the house, this may mean you only test a few times a day. Don’t let others affect the need to test your blood glucose. Sure, we can ask first, but test on and don’t let others determine the amount you test.
Testing blood sugar at a restaurant
I was at dinner just last week and I got out testing meter and lancet and tested my blood glucose. The table next to me was staring at me as I poked my finger and then their eyes got bigger as they watched me push some blood out and put it on a strip. I thought "wow, I am entertainment to the people next door." As I put my blood on the strip and my little beep showed great numbers I went YA!! That’s 3 great numbers for the day.
One of the ladies turned to me and asked if she could ask me a question. I said sure. She asked why I poked my finger. I told her I had diabetes and must check my blood glucose before I eat. She said I thought that may be why, but I have never seen anyone do it publicly, so I thought I would ask. She went on to ask if that tiny amount of blood could really be accurate to see what my levels are. I said sure it doesn’t take much. Then she asked one more question. How do you know if you have diabetes? I rambled off some of the symptoms to her and she said ok I guess I am ok. She shared that they did a health fair at her office and she was tested there but just wanted to hear it from someone living with diabetes. With as many people that have diabetes I was surprised to hear that I was the first one that she saw test their blood.
Why I check my blood sugar in public
I openly test, and I personally have never run into anyone being upset or getting sick over it. I always ask if I am in a group if everyone is OK with me testing before I do it. When just with a friend I ask if they are ok with me testing but with my family I just do it. We are all so use to it no one even notices I am doing it because to them it's just a part of daily life.
So is it OK to test openly? I would say yes, if we ask those around us because some do get sick at even the slightest sight of blood I think as long as they are ok with it we need to be fine with it.
A dear friend of mine has diabetes and at work a co-worker asked her in a very nice way to stop testing in front of her. She said she gets light headed by the thought of blood and even just that little needle can send her to a sitting position not feeling so well.
Testing is about your health
Never feel shame about having diabetes. Sometimes testing in public can bring on shame. Rise above and get over your fear or embarrassment. It’s more important to test than what others think. Let go and just test. Your health is important and needs to be more important to you then how people may look at you or what they might say.
Make testing about you and your health and that is it!! Missing test times could cause serious problems and you can’t afford to let your body down by not testing. Do it for you and for your health. Let’s just say you're out to eat and don’t feel you should test because you are worried about what people may think but you start feeling horrible. If you tested, you would have known your numbers and know if that is what is making you not feel good.
Your health is way more important than what people think. It’s your life, your health and your body - they deserve to be treated the best way you possibly can.
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